|picture courtesy of Google Image|
There's five of us girls. There's been five of us for nearly eight years. We each play a very specific role in our amazing little gang that was born out of piss taking and an ability to pack a way a sizeable amount of wine.
Then 18 months ago one of us jumped ship. The sarcastic, level headed and arguably biggest lush of the pack, packed up and buggered off. Her life in a backpack, off she headed on a trip of a lifetime.
'It's only a year, it will fly by' we all told ourselves whilst choking back tears and gin in a bar in November 2012. Nothing will change, and we'll keep her up to date on EVERYTHING we're doing.
Eight new jobs, a new flat, some failed relationships and several changes in hairstyle later, our fifth arm landed back on Friday. It would be fair to say, that in parts, we were all apprehensive.
What if things had changed too much? What if we didn't have as much in common anymore? What if she talks in a dodgy accent now? OH GOD - she's not on the group What'sApp!
Walking up the stairs in Kate's flat, that Hannah had yet to visit, sporting a hair do that Hannah was yet to see, coming from my new job that Hannah was yet to hear about, I had butterflies equivalent to those on a first date.
I bowled into the front room, screeching her surname and in a bleary eyed hug, the last 18 months disappeared.
Tens of bottles of wine, dozens of cuddles and a pizza later, we sat at the window at 6am watching the sun come up. A double vision stare across the strewn bodies on the floor and drink debris, it struck me. She could have been gone 18 years, and yes things change, but our little gang hasn't.
Us five are the best of friends. And you know that people are your best mates when;
- Every time they'll order two pizzas, one with and one without mushrooms. They know you have a thing about mushrooms but can never remember if it's that you love them or loathe them. So they'll spend an extra twelve quid just in case.
- You meet up with them just because. Not because it's payday, not because it's a birthday, but just because. You no doubt saw them 48 hours previously, but you'll spend the entire evening gas bagging.
- They are your biggest fans and biggest critics. They will speak you up and boast about how epic you are to colleagues and friends of friends. However, the minute you drop the ball and behave like a fool, they will sit you down and rip an almighty strip off of you. They'll get up, buy you a glass of wine, and say no more about it.
- One of you calls the other sobbing. They arrive, often from nowhere, in the pub nearest work or in a cab outside your flat. They sit. They listen. They get you pissed.
- They rally round when shit gets serious. Albeit just for an hour, the sarcastic quips and one line put downs stop. They give epic advice and all offer to take a day off work to help you when you really need it. You decline the offer. Because you obviously know they've got a deadline.
- They've all seen you near enough fully naked.
- You've all held each others hair when being sick. All done the water run when crying. All left a night much earlier than you ever wanted and before you swapped numbers with the guy you're pretty sure you were going to marry, because one of the others is being a liability.
- One of you starts the night beginning to tell a story about something that happened at work. By 10pm, the story still isn't finished because you spend your entire lives going off on a tangent.
- You have other mates that you love spending time with. But none of them really ever come up to par. When new friends come into your life, you feel like they need to meet the little gang to gain a seal of approval. It's rare that they get it.
- You are incredibly rude to each other. Near enough all of the time. Because it's funny.
- You know absolutely everything about the others. From family health history to toilet habits. And every embarrassing sexual encounter in between.
- You sit in silence for hours on holiday. You communicate purely in grunts. One grunt ' Go to the bar'. Two grunts 'I'm going for a nap'. Three grunts 'Are we staying here for dinner tonight, or going out?'
- Money is always owed left right and centre. Tickets, cabs, rounds. It gets to the stage that anything under £30 no longer counts.
- You still never know what to buy them for Christmas.
- You can spot within 30 seconds when they are wearing something new. You get a bit put out that they forgot to mention it. You know you'll end up borrowing it.
- On occasion they drive you completely nuts. But you wouldn't change them for the world. And yes, you can spend days, months, years apart. But eventually, you'll all be back, sitting round a table, drinking and eating and still taking the piss about what actually happened on that night out in Kingston, that you vowed never to speak of again!